The Borneo Post
KUALA LUMPUR: When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak took over as the sixth prime minister on April 3, 2009, he set his sights on resolving domestic economic issues and tackling political reform.
In his maiden speech over television as the nation’s premier, Najib even pledged to conduct a comprehensive review of the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allowed for the indefinite detention of people without trial, and even announced the release of 13 people held under the draconian act.
He then unveiled the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and Political Transformation Plan (PTP), a reflection of his integrated and visionary push to transform Malaysia into a truly developed nation by 2020.
For political transformation, Najib even suggested that the Barisan Nasional (BN) charter be amended to allow direct membership into the ruling coalition through four new kinds of membership in BN — affiliate membership, associate membership, Friends of BN and fourth, the BN Rakan Muda club.
But the biggest transformation since he took over and regarded as Najib’s boldest step in political reform was the repealing of the ISA.
In other words, the prime minister has delivered on his promise.
According to MIC secretary-general S Murugessan, the prime minister would be remembered as one who was willing to make such a bold decision.
“It would be a lasting legacy of Datuk Seri Najib. As a lawyer, I feel relieved (about the repealing of the ISA),” he said.
Senior lawyer Roger Tan said Najib’s courageous decision to repeal the ISA was the right thing to do and it showed that the government was receptive to the feelings on the ground.